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Fast Facts About SIDS

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  • SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.

  • More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.1

  • Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby's first year.2

  • SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who seems healthy.

  • SIDS is sometimes called "crib death" or "cot death" because it is associated with the timeframe when the baby is sleeping. Cribs themselves don't cause SIDS, but the baby's sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.

  • Slightly more boys die of SIDS than do girls.3

  • In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year. But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.

  • SIDS rates for the United States have dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of infant lives have been saved, but some ethnic groups are still at higher risk for SIDS.

  1. Murphy, S. L., Xu, J., & Kochanek, K. D. (2013). Deaths: Final report for 2010. National Vital Statistics Report, vol. 61 no. 4. Retrieved November 11, , 2013, from (PDF - 3.12 MB).
  2. Trachtenberg, F. L., Haas, E. A., Kinney, H. C., Stanley, C., & Krous, H. F. (2012). Risk factor changes for sudden infant death syndrome after initiation of Back-to-Sleep campaign. Pediatrics, 129(4), 630-638. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1419. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from External Web Site Policy.
  3. Trachtenberg, F. L., et al. (2012).



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Last Updated Date: 09/11/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 09/11/2015